Academic Programs

Interdivisional Concentrations

Global and International Studies

As of the Fall 2015 semester, Global and international Studies will make the transition from concentration to a program and students can moderate into the program alone.

  • The Global and International Affairs (GIA) concentration will be phased out.  Any student currently enrolled in the College will have the opportunity to concentrate in GIA.  Students interested in completing a GIA concentration must moderate into the concetration  before the end of Spring semester 2016.  You can find the GIA requirements at the following link:
  • The Global Public Health (GPH) concentration will not be affected by the introduction of the GISP major.  The concentration will continue to be available to anyone wishing to add GPH.  You can find the GPH requirements at the following link:

The Global and International Studies Program (GISP) begins from the premise that the complexity and growing interconnectedness of global affairs is such that it cannot be studied within the narrow boundaries of traditional disciplines. GISP offers an inter- and multi-disciplinary curriculum that draws on faculty strengths in anthropology, economics, history, political science, sociology and area studies and emphasizes the importance of culture and society to the study of international affairs. The goal is to create synergies among these different disciplines in order to facilitate new and innovative perspectives on global phenomena. 

Students majoring in Global and International Studies are required to take a total of 11 courses from the areas outlined below and two semesters of senior project. A single course may not fulfill more than one of the requirements. Two of these courses, excluding the Junior Research Seminar and senior project, should be at the 300-level.

  • 2    GISP Core Course
  • 5    Courses in the GISP Thematic Fields
    • 3    courses in the primary field
    • 2    courses, one in each remaining secondary field
  • 2    Area Studies Courses
  • 1    Junior Research Seminar: Global and International Studies
  • 1    Approved Foreign Language Course
  • 2    Senior Project

Global and International Studies Core Courses
The Global and International Studies core courses introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of global affairs. Each course adopts a problem-based approach to issues of contemporary global importance, and draws from an interdisciplinary set of course readings and approaches to international affairs.

Global and International Studies Thematic Fields
The Global and International Studies Program has three thematic fields (described below): Transnational Processes, Culture and Ideas; Global Economics, Trade and Development; and International Politics, States and Institutions. Students choose one of these fields as the primary focus of their major and take at least one course in the remaining two fields. Students are required to take three courses—drawn from at least two different disciplines—in their primary subfield and one course in each of the remaining thematic fields.

  • Field 1: Transnational Processes, Cultures and Ideas: courses in this field take up issues and activities that operate across the borders of states. Covered themes include political and cultural globalization, transnational social movements, immigration, nongovernmental organizations, global media, human rights, the environment and infectious diseases.
  • Field 2: Global Economics, Trade and Development: courses in this field focus on the global economy. Covered themes include microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, political economy, economic development, trade and international economic institutions. 
  • Field 3: International Politics, States and Institutions: courses in this field take up issues related to the theory and practice of interstate relations. Covered themes include international history, international relations theory, security studies, nations and nationalism, state sovereignty, and international institutions.

Area Studies
Students must ground the thematic study of global and international studies in coursework that focuses on a particular geographic area by taking two area studies courses. These two courses must focus on the same geographic region. Appropriate courses focus on the history, politics and/or culture of a geographic area, or the comparative study of two geographic areas. It is recommended that the geographic focus correspond to the language used to fulfill the language requirement. 

Junior Research Seminar: Global and International Studies

This course, normally taken in the junior year, prepares students to begin work on their senior project the following academic year. The course will introduce students to the range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of international affairs, drawn from an interdisciplinary set of texts.

Language Study
Global and International Studies students are expected to demonstrate competency in a language other than English.   Students can meet the language requirement in one of two ways:

  • Completion of an intensive language course at Bard (offered in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish), along with the summer immersion session. The summer immersion will also fulfill the study abroad/away requirement.
  • Placement into or completion of an appropriate 200-level language course.

Students who come to Bard with basic proficiency in a language other than English are not required to complete additional language study

Senior Project
The two-semester senior project must address global and international themes by incorporating the interdisciplinary lessons students have learned in their GISP coursework. 

Study Abroad/BGIA
Global and International Studies majors are required to gain experiential knowledge of the areas and/or themes covered in their coursework through participation in a study abroad program or semester at the Bard Globalization and International Affairs (BGIA) Program. Some experience in a culture outside of the United States is particularly encouraged. Students who have completed high school education outside the United States may waive the study away requirement. GISP may offer study tours during intersession and vacations.

Prior to or concurrent with moderation, a student must have taken at least four GISP courses, including a core course, identified their primary thematic field and made progress toward the language requirement. To moderate into GISP, each student is required to submit a one-page plan of study to the program director and moderation board that demonstrates a coherent vision for their academic interests within global and international studies, and how they plan to realize them in their remaining years at Bard. The plan should include a list of potential courses the student will take, address plans for possible study abroad or study at BGIA, and explain how the study of different disciplines would benefit the student’s research interests. Joint majoring with other interdisciplinary programs, with the exception of stand-alone area studies programs, is discouraged and will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the program directors.

Senior Projects
Rising seniors must submit a senior project proposal not less than two weeks before advising day during the second semester of their junior year, which outlines the proposed topic of the senior project, project methodology and potential project advisors. An academic advisor with the appropriate methodological background must endorse all senior project proposals.